West Coast Centenary 2025

West Coast Centenary 2025

In 1908 the first diamonds were discovered along the west coast of southern Africa at Kolmanskop near Luderitz. This led to the subsequent discovery of the rich diamond deposits mined by Consolidated Diamond Mines along what is now the Namibian Coastline.

It was not until 1925 that the first diamond was discovered (Jack Carstens) in Namaqualand on the Port Nolloth Reserve. Shortly thereafter, concentrated prospecting operations began between The Cliffs north of Port Nolloth and the Orange River estuary with only minor activity taking place to the south towards Kleinzee. In 1926, the rich deposits at Alexander Bay were discovered (Hans Merensky). These deposits proved so rich that in 1927 the Government prohibited all further diamond prospecting on state-owned land in Namaqualand.

During this time prospecting operations at Kleinzee were laying the foundation for what was to become the De Beers Namaqualand Mines. In 1928 the South African Government started mining operations at Alexander Bay (now Alexkor). Later diamonds were also discovered and mined elsewhere along the vast coastline.

It was not until 1954 that the first offshore diamond prospecting was started and between 1961 and 1965, a Texan entrepreneur (Sam Collins) through the Marine Diamond Corporation (now De Beers Marine) gave the impetus needed for geological exploration on the continental shelf by exploiting diamonds offshore along the coastline of then South West Africa.

This has manifested itself into a growing industry with diamonds having been discovered and mined in the nearshore and offshore environments along the coastline from south of the Olifants River in South Africa to some 120km north of Hottentots Bay in Namibia

Join us in celebrating some 100 years of diamonds on the West Coast of South Africa – the people, the science, the history, the environment and the geology – where did the diamonds come from, how did they get there and where did they go to?  A conference (with oral and poster presentations) and associated field trip (s) are planned for 11-20 March 2025 – Save the Date.


  • The technical sessions will be held at the LETATSI LODGE & CONFERENCE VENUE in Vanrhynsdorp. 

West Coast Centenary 2025


West Coast Centenary 2025

Call for Papers/Presentations/Posters and Abstracts Requirements

Coming Soon

Special Issue of the South African Journal of Geology (SAJG)

It is planned to publish as many as possible of the papers presented at this conference in a Special Issue of the SAJG.  More specific details will be provided in due time, but prospective authors are requested to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the Journal. Please note that all submissions to the Journal must be scientific in nature, as opposed to purely technical reports.

Preliminary Programme and Fieldtrip information

Coming Soon.

Photograph competition

All delegates are invited to submit up to three photographs for the photo competition.  Photographs should showcase the wide variety of the Southern African West Coast scenery (geological, diamonds, social, historical, impact, etc).

Winners will be announced at the closing of the conference.  Prizes will be given, including having your photo used as the cover page for Geobulletin.

Further details to be provided in due course.


Tania Marshall (Chair of the Organising Committee) and Loni Gallant (Chair of the Sponsorship Committee) can be contacted on info@gss.org.za